Study: Demand for Mobile DTV on Rise

Consumers are ready for viewing digital TV on their mobile devices. According to a study conducted by Magid Media Labs, more than three-quarters of the respondents said they would be most likely to watch Mobile DTV on a laptop, netbook, cell phone or smartphone.

The concept of watching live digital TV on mobile devices is even more appealing to young Adults 18-29.

The study was commissioned by the Open Mobile Video Coalition, whose 450 TV station members have begun rolling out mobile DTV in a number of markets in a bid to grow their local audiences. In the coming year, the OMVC plans to conduct an extended consumer test of local mobile DTV in Washington, D.C.

“The results of this new national survey may surprise some but not [all] local broadcasters. Online adults say that live broadcast TV programming is crucial, with more than half of the respondents saying they want access to live, local broadcasts. And nearly half of those surveyed also say they are interested in buying a new portable device with the capability to receive mobile DTV from over-the-air local stations,” said Brandon Burgess, CEO of ION Media Network and president of the OMVC.

The timing of the study comes as the Federal Communications Commission is floating a proposal to take back some of the digital spectrum from TV broadcasters to solve a potential spectrum crunch among wireless Internet providers. Broadcasters, who just this year completed the transition to digital broadcasting, are girding for a fight, claiming they need the spectrum in order to offer mobile DTV and other extra digital channels.